Tom Durkin With A Perfect Soul

Announcers have grown on me.

Especially Mr. Tom Durkin. Announcers have a unique job in communicating the actions on the race track clearly to spectators. Tom takes that communication to another level in providing great entertainment to a potentially tedious and repetitive task. There are other announcers who do a great job at building excitement through the race of course, but this thanks is to Tom.

My favorite horse to watch and listen to Tom call is Arrrrr. Arrrrr is a favorite horse of mine, as well as my coworkers Marta and Sarah and I was introduced to Arrrrr a little less than a year ago. I love to listen to Tom call the race and use dialects of pirates, growling and various other noises.

Arrrrr raced most recently June 26th, 2008 at Belmont Park, and Tom really got into his calling of this race. Arrrrr lead most of the trip around the track and Tom provided the beautiful call that had me rolling in the office. Arrrrr finished second, but I had to watch the replay of the race like three times, with Marta, to just sink in how well Tom called this race.

I have searched YouTube and all the known sources for race replays, but since this was not a graded stakes, I have had no luck finding a video for you to watch, but if you do have a subscription to watch race-replays, I must insist on looking up this race and watching it, like three times.

Durkin was also great to watch on Preakness day, at least I think that was the race he was on, displaying a chart he had drawn up and explained some data about racing...I don't remember the data but I remember how entertaining he was presenting it.

Speaking of Durkin, Amidala passed along this wonderful sound-bite from the 4th race at Belmont on the 4th of July, 2008:

Other Durkin Vids of Interest:

Perfect Soul Update

Finally, two starters are emerging from Perfect Soul's first crop of 2-year-olds.

Chile Chico

Assiniboia Downs dirt
5 Furlongs
MSW Race #2 $12,000
Post Position #6
Jockey: Anderson M


Delaware Park dirt
5 Furlongs
MSW Race #1 $40,000
Post Position #4
Jockey: Prado E S

You can find a complete following of his first crop on this permanent page I have set up. Much like our Maiden Watch blog, I will try to cover what I can for his runners and workers, but it is tedious =)

Here are past blog posts you can read to learn more about why I am following Perfect Soul:


Leave a Comment:


Arrrr must be getting better. Has he even broken his maiden yet? I've heard Mr. Durkin call his name and he really gets into it, providing more excitement to the race. Terry Wallace is our announcer at Oaklawn and its rare that he makes any mistakes in pronunciation, just don't put to much money on his horse selections, he's not that good. Sorry Terry LOL. But anyway I don't see how these guys do it, it is truly a gift.

10 Jul 2008 1:35 PM

the doraymefasolatido call was the best!!!

and his call on ready's echo's first race at Saratoga is on youtube too it is also hilarious.  great guy.

10 Jul 2008 2:09 PM
AlexP is free, and while they provide replays of all California tracks as well as live video of them, they also have replays from several out-of-state tracks. Also, has a few free tracks if you sign up, and all three NYRA tracks are part of it (Monmouth is another, and I don't know the exact url off the top of my head, but you can access it on the Monmouth site). The url for NYRA's replays is

10 Jul 2008 2:23 PM

I absolutely agree that Tom Durkin is the best track announcer in a America with Trevor Denman in second both because of their great race descriptions.

10 Jul 2008 2:30 PM

Tom Durkin really had fun a few weeks ago calling a race that had a horse named Dagnabit in it.  

10 Jul 2008 3:35 PM

Try, just watched the race and it was pretty comical.

10 Jul 2008 3:48 PM

Also, check his call 2 back for Stud Muffin.  Priceless.  Another interesting fact about Durkin is that he appeared as a contestant on Match Game back in the 70's.

10 Jul 2008 4:27 PM

I love Tom Durkin. I think he is a wonderful announcer. His voice is full of emotion.

10 Jul 2008 4:32 PM

I agree that Tom is truly the best.  I am sorry that he is not the voice for the Breeders Cup races anymore, nothing against Trevor Denman.  And indeed the doraymefasolatido was his best!

10 Jul 2008 5:42 PM

Hilarious call in Hialeah Park video. On a personal note, I saw Freehold Racetrack announcer Larry Lederman constantly mess up the name Djerriwarrah during a race. It can be found on You-Tube, just type in Larry Lederman.

10 Jul 2008 6:09 PM

THis blog is just too much fun!!!  

10 Jul 2008 6:48 PM

There is no race caller in the country that compares to Tom Durkin. He is magnificent at what he does and the fact that he is not calling the BC races anymore is a disgrace. Contractual issues or not, someway, somehow, the best race caller in the country should be calling the races on the sport's biggest day. Denman, who blew 2 races on his first attempt at the BC, does not hold a candle to Durkin. Vic Stouffer would be a better choice than that, but it is still Durkin who is supreme in his field and he should be there on racing's biggest day. If the powers that be will continually & foolishly (what logic of keeping him off the air on racing's biggest day is a good idea?!) not allow Durkin's contract to be altered for this one day, then at least let's have each BC site have its races be called by the track's regular announcer, which could be both interesting and a boost to more unpublicized callers. Denman is no Durkin and there is no reason to have him continually call the Breeders' Cup races. No one creates excitement in calling like Durkin. Are you really going to tell me that when the BC next comes around to a NY track, we are going to hear Denman?!?!?!

11 Jul 2008 1:47 AM

Tom Durkin the best? Try again. How many times do we have to listen to this guy NOT call the winner who is rallying from behind, yeah he finally sees him as he hits the front, but come on - Trevor Denman will let you know at the quarter pole who you better watch for and is right nearly every time.

    Tom is overrated and just because he is from NY he is given huge plaudits for which he does not deserve. I was so happy when the Breeders Cup let Trevor call their races. Tom can't carry Trevor, let alone his microphone!

11 Jul 2008 2:10 AM

I can not stand the way Tom Durkin calls races,  I think he could improve.  The best race caller of all time is Dave Johnson, and I miss his race calls.  HE was the best. Nobody call a race like Dave.

11 Jul 2008 10:56 AM
Frank J.

I have to agree with taxman. I used to like Durkin alot more than I do now I just think his antics are overrated and Denman does a better job. Although Durkin's calls of Smarty's Preakness and Belmont were great. I think the guy from Arlington Park is really good although his name escapes me right now, can anyone help me out?

Tom Gilooley, something like that?? Icarumba!!!

11 Jul 2008 1:07 PM

IMO Tom is like a storyteller who takes us through a racecall slowly building to a crescendo. Check out the Rags to Riches/Curlin Belmont call on YouTube. Perfection. Nobody comes close.

Maybe Trevor is overrated because he's from the West Coast!!

11 Jul 2008 2:44 PM

Vic Stouffer calling a race during an earthquake is classic. He made sports center 2 weeks back calling the horse BooYah as if he was Stuart Scott...

11 Jul 2008 5:14 PM

john dooley

12 Jul 2008 8:23 PM

Phil Georgeff, who called the races at Arlington Park during the 70s and 80s (and into the 90s, I believe), was my all-time favorite.  Who can forget his "Heeere they come, spinning out of the turn!"?

12 Jul 2008 10:38 PM

I would agree that Tom Durkin is the best race caller in America today. Trevor Denman is not in his league. Tom has his own special way of putting the extra zing into the call. Besides "ARRR", remember "WHOA"? WHHOOOOAA! And one of my single favorite calls from Tom ever - coming down the stretch neck and neck...WOODMERE, WOODWINNER, WOODMERE, WOODWINNER, WOODMERE, WOODWINNER, WOODMERE, WOODWINNER, WOODMERE, WOODWINNER...

I still laugh every time I think of that finish. I can remember so many of Tom's race calls. I can't single out one that I remember from anyone else. Can we start a petition to get Tom back as the Breeder's Cup race caller?

12 Jul 2008 11:51 PM

Durkin, Denman and Stauffer are in a league by themselves, but in my opinion Durkin is the best and I'm not from NY.

Was a race this year at Hollywood that I loved Stauffer's call. Was a 1 1/2 race. They went a quarter in 26 and change, Stauffer said, "and it's hard to get a TB to go that slow". Then they got to the half in 52 and Stauffer said," The USC band marches faster than that".

I agree that Durkin is the "voice" of the Breeder's Cup races and he "should" of had a out in his contract for it.

15 Jul 2008 7:33 AM

As much as I like Trevor and Tom both, the best racecaller today in racing is Dan Loiselle at Woodbine. Never makes a mistake and like Trevor, see's things developing long before the wire comes up. Keep up the good work Dan

15 Jul 2008 10:21 AM
Melissa G

Do ray mi fa so la ti dooo was my favorite.  He could have a second career as a singer!

15 Jul 2008 10:21 AM

I recently introduced non racing fans to the joys of listening to Tom call the races with Arrrrr in them.  I wish I could email the call to them so they could really have an experience to remember

16 Jul 2008 9:43 AM

Dave Rodman, anyone?

I think he's hugely entertaining!

28 Jul 2008 10:21 PM

I like Wait A While is waiting no more that he called the other day.  That was great if anyone caught that.  :)

23 Aug 2008 11:45 AM

I wonder if Tom ever got to call any of Hoof Hearted's races?  The funniest video I've ever seen was one of the few races Hoof Hearted won.

24 Aug 2008 3:48 PM

Vic Stauffer is my favo- great voice, huge knowlegde and tons of emotion - love him

28 Aug 2008 2:33 PM

Durkin has called my horse"Executive Search"(until claimed).and i have to say....he left me speechless.Im hohred to have this hall of famer call my horse.I would love an opportunity to shake his hand and say the Forego Stakes with Chowders First....."From out of the cloud"///GREAT CALL

17 Nov 2008 9:00 PM

Luke Kruytbosch really brought a lot to the art of race calling, and died at too young an age.

08 Nov 2009 7:52 PM

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